QUEBEC CITY, P.Q. —Usually, the goal for an underdog team in the playoffs is to win one of the first two games on the road. In the Chicoutimi-Quebec series, the Sagueneens came to Quebec with the intention of coming out of this first game being happy of the effort of their team.
At the end, Chicoutimi surprised Quebec winning the first game 6-3.
Led offensively by Simon Tremblay and Guillaume Asselin with two goals each, Sebastien Sylvestre with four assists and a solid performance by veteran goaltender Christopher Gibson 29 saves on Quebec 32 shots plays key roles in helping Chicoutimi to take a 1-0 lead in the series.
“We are happy about our game tonight,” the Chicoutimi head coach Marc-Etienne Hebert said after the game. “Our goal tonight was to come out of this game without any regrets, we always have had confidence on our team and we know the challenge is tremendous but tonight we can say that we were proud of the way we played we can get out of le Colisee of Quebec tonight without any regrets.”
Chicoutimi head coach knows the series isn’t over yet because his team won the first game. He is perfectly aware that his team didn’t accomplished anything that make the series turning on their side he knows about the challenge his team is facing against Quebec he will make sure his team will re-focus for tomorrow game.
Quebec opened the scoring. A great pass from Nick Sorensen from behind the net to Adam Erne leads to Quebec first goal with little more than first half of initial period at 13:52. Erne’s wrist shot from the slot didn’t leave any chance to veteran Chicoutimi netminder Gibson.
A five-minute penalty plus a game misconduct to the author of Quebec first goal Erne for checking from behind seem to shift momentum in the game with Chicoutimi tying the game with 37 seconds remaining in the first period by Thomas Gobeil. Gobeil shot also from the slot left no chance to Quebec goalie Francois Brassard.
Chicoutimi came right back with a second goal to begin the second period with only 1:50 gone taking the lead for the first time in the game with the first goal of the night by Simon Tremblay. The Chicoutimi left winger took a rebound from Laurent Dauphin first shot only had to backhand the puck in.
Quebec came back tying the game at two goals-a-piece with Ryan Culkin shot from the left faceoff circle beating Sagueneens goalie top corner at 14:33.
With the score 2-2, Chicoutimi took advantage of a five-on-three power play to score twice taking a 4-2 lead with Guillaume Asselin first of the series at 16:03 in middle frame and Lauren Dauphin goal with only 5:38 gone in third period. The shot from Dauphin went through several players before surprising Brassard between his pads.
“We have had a tough time scoring on our power plays (0-7) and they capitalized against out penalty killing unit,” said the Quebec goaltender Brassard. “We need to adjust for tomorrow game. We aren’t panicking we just have to learn from that game. It was just one game they need to win three others.”
Tremblay for Chicoutimi came back in the third period with his second of the night at 12:08 in power play making 5-2 Chicoutimi, Anthony Duclair scored Quebec third goal at 13:23 and Asselin also with his second of the game in an empty net made 6-3 Chicoutimi at 19:03.
For Quebec head coach Patrick Roy, his team had a great beginning taking a 1-0 lead but the penalty to Adam Erne seem to play key roles in changing the momentum in that game.
“Absolutely the five minutes really hurt us not just the five minutes but losing Erne and in same time gave the momentum to them. The takes a 2-1 lead and another penalty to Logan Shaw gave them a four-on-three even a five-on-three and they scored the third goal hurting us because we just had tying the score 2-2. They were better then us tonight, I think they wanted the game more than us.”
“I don’t like our involvement in our battle along the board they were more dedicated in the game no doubt about it.” The Quebec head coach Roy said.
The series second game will be right on tonight. Game four and five will be next Tuesday and Wednesday in Chicoutimi.
Seven other series were on QMJHL schedule for Friday
Saint John 1 vs. Halifax 11 (Halifax takes 1-0 lead)
Victoriaville 3 vs. Moncton 0 (Victoriaville takes 1-0 lead)
Val-d’Or 2 vs. Prince Edward Island 3 (PEI takes 1-0 lead)
Sherbrooke 2 vs. Baie-Comeau 6 (Baie-Comeau takes 1-0 lead)
Acadie-Bathurst 4 vs. Blainville-Boisbriand 5 (Blainville-Boisbriand takes 2-0 lead)
Gatineau 2 vs. Rimouski 3 (Rimouski takes 1-0 lead)
Drummondville 2 vs. Rouyn-Noranda 4 (Rouyn-Noranda takes 1-0 lead)
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